Bundelkhand, which has been “synonymous” with drought, migration and unemployment, is now hoping to benefit from several government initiatives.
Bundelkhand comprises of 14 districts, seven from Uttar Pradesh and as many from Madhya Pradesh.
But we are talking about the seven districts of Madhya Pradesh — Datia, Tikamgarh, Niwari, Chhatarpur, Panna, Damoh and Sagar.
These districts were a source of prosperity but with the passing of time they got entangled in problems.
After a long time, a scheme is being brought which it is hoped will change Bundelkhand for the better.
The Ken-Betwa Link project, which was a dream project of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, has been given the nod by the Narendra Modi government with an outlay of Rs 44,000 crore.
Though there can be some fallouts of the project but it can be effective in bringing back prosperity and solving the water problem of the region.
Water scarcity is the root cause of all the problems of the region as farming cannot be done due to lack of water, livestock don’t get water to drink and even the common people are striving for water. That’s the main reason why industries could not be established which led to an unemployment problem in the state.
Work is also being done to improve the transport system in the region. Villages are being connected by roads. National Highway 75 connecting the Gwalior region with Rewa has made commuting pleasant and comfortable.
A huge area has also been connected via the rail network. Panna is the only district which does not have a rail line. To connect Khajuraho with Delhi, there are plans to run the Vande Bharat Express, which was announced by Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw recently.
Khajuraho holds a unique place on the world tourism map. Efforts are being made to enhance its attraction with better facilities for the tourists coming here. A yoga centre and a golf course are also on the cards. A convention centre has already been built here where meetings can be organised. If the continuing efforts bear fruit, tourists’ interest in the region will increase.
The terracotta art of Bundelkhand, which had been a great tool of employment in the region 50-60 years back, was forgotten with the passage of time but now efforts are being made to revive the art and provide employment to people.
There are also plans to connect Orccha with Chitrakoot by train to increase religious tourism.
Khajuraho MP and BJP state president Vishnu Dutt Sharma said that he has a resolution to make “Lehlahata Bundelkhand and Khushaal Bundelkhand” (a prosperous and happy Bundelkhand) and he is working on it.
It’s not that previous governments had not made plans and schemes for Bundelkhand or not approved a budget for it and the biggest example of it is the Bundelkhand package. Rs 3,500 crore were spent in the seven districts but the situation did not change as the money was diverted.
To resolve the water crisis, crores of rupees were spent but the situation remains the same.
There is a new ray of hope but it is to be seen whether it fructifies or not.